National Poetry Month: Day 21

Memoryhouse has recently been collecting six-word memoirs from the UChicago community and now, to celebrate National Poetry Month, we are sharing them with you! We will be publishing two six-word memoirs every day in April along with fun writing prompts to inspire you to write your own six-word memoir, poetry, or autobiography. Want to share your six-word story with the world? Email us at chicagomemoryhouse@gmail.com or Facebook us. To submit longer pieces visit our Submit page.

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Some phrases, such as “toe the line,” are so ingrained in our minds that we automatically link the phrase with its intended meaning (in this case, to conform to a set of rules) without thinking about the literal meaning (carefully placing your toes along a line on the ground). This week, pause for a moment and try to imagine the actions described in these idioms. When someone says you’re “barking up the wrong tree,” what do you picture? Is there an idiom that you use frequently, or that you’ve always been a bit confused by? Write a short personal essay about what this idiom means to you. Then do some research into its history, and if you decide to go further, look up how similar sentiments are expressed idiomatically in other languages.

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